Making a balanced decision on a strategic divorce

While the idea of a person asking their spouse for a divorce in order to save money may seem awkward, some New Jersey couples are considering doing just that. The so-called "marriage penalty" along with some proposed wealth taxes from presidential candidates are stirring up chatter about how a strategic divorce could help some couples save some money.

A strategic divorce can save a couple money in several ways. First, filing as single individuals may give some couples, especially high earners, some tax breaks. Second, if one spouse is ill and does not qualify for Medicaid, divorcing may be a way that the ill individual can get the coverage needed without the couple exhausting all of their savings. Third, couples may be able to benefit from more federal student aid if they were to divorce and the custodial parent was considered low income.

Before making this decision, though, it is important for couples to realize what is at stake, not just financially but also socially and emotionally. Divorcing could fix one financial problem, but it could also cause a variety of others. For example, a working spouse may carry health care coverage for the entire family. If the couple were to divorce to experience certain financial benefits, the divorce may mean that some individuals in the family would no longer benefit from the health care.

Deciding to divorce for any reason is a big decision. It is important for each individual to fully understand how a divorce would impact them financially and in a variety of other ways. Some couples decide to speak with an attorney in order to get information about high-asset divorce, property division and other legal issues that could potentially arise. The attorney may be able to provide other practical assistance, including filing divorce papers.

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